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Should Phils Trade Joe Blanton for Alberto Callaspo?

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, March 15, 2012 07:00 AM | Comments: 82
Posts, Rumors, Trades, Transactions

PHOTO: Zimbio.com

Chase Utley may or may not be able to go by Opening Day.

The picture got no clearer Wednesday, when Charlie Manuel said of Utley potentially playing in a Spring Training game: “It’s coming up pretty soon, it’ll be a few days yet, but then he’ll start pushing his workouts up. He’ll get going pretty soon. We’ll get him some live pitching and see where he’s at.”

But even still, Manuel’s phrasing and several signs Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com points out leave room to believe… maybe Utley won’t be ready.

Sources tell CSNPhilly that the Phillies are looking for infield help. And Salisbury points out that Freddy Galvis has played second base upwards of 30 innings in the Phils’ past five Spring Training games. Galvis figures to see more time there while Michael Martinez heals his bruised elbow.

Galvis is hitting .308 this Spring in 26 at-bats and leads the Phillies with 7 RBI. Two stats you’ll either be impressed by or say “meaningless sample” to.

He’s 22 and has played 33 games at the Triple-A level. Letting him develop offensively is the plan. He hit well, by light-hitting, glove savvy middle infielder standards, last season at Lehigh Valley… .298/.315/.324. But his OPSs from 2007-09 were .507, .588, .568, all at Single-A. In the National League in 2011, the lowest player OPS was .615 by Jason Bartlett.

So a backup plan is likely in order.

And that would be trading for a middle infielder. The name that jumps out at me is Alberto Callaspo.

David Murphy made the connection Wednesday. My brother Eric is writing something up on it today at Brotherly Glove.

Callaspo just fits this team. He’d add offense at second and third base, two positions plagued recently by injuries. Callaspo, according to Fangraphs, was worth 6.8 runs offensively and 7.6 runs defensively (accounted for position) last season.

6.8 + 7.6 = 14.4 runs for Callaspo.

Placido Polanco was worth 14.0 runs defensively but cost the Phillies 5.5 runs with the bat.

14.0 – 5.5 = 8.5 runs for Polanco.

From 2009-11, Callaspo hit .285/.341/.404 with full-season averages of 34 doubles and 10 home runs. He’s played about 1,700 career innings at second base and 1,300 at third base. He’s also played shortstop sparingly and both corner outfield positions on rare occasions.

Callaspo would be a perfect middle infield super-sub, he just hasn’t realized that role yet. Callaspo plays for the Angels, a team with a lot of positional redundancy heading into 2012.

Callaspo projects as the Angels’ Opening Day starter at third base, but he’s only started 3 of the last 7 games there for the Angels. Mark Trumbo — who hit 29 homers and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting last season but must leave first base because of Albert Pujols — has played 3 of the other 4 at third base, and Jorge Cantu started the other game.

The Angels also have Maicer Izturis — another player Murphy mentioned as a possibility — to play third base. Callaspo is far from a need for Los Angeles. He’s making $3.15 million this season. His final year of arbitration is 2013.  And at $146 million, the Angels’ payroll is the highest it’s ever been.

Earlier this off-season, the Angels reportedly tried to land Joe Blanton in a three-team deal that would have sent Bobby Abreu to the Yankees and A.J. Burnett to the Phillies.

So… why not trade the Halos Blanton for Callaspo, straight up? A good old-fashioned baseball trade. Need for need. Redundancy for redundancy.

(To be clear, I’m not calling Blanton a pure redundancy, just recognizing that the Phils have Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick, Joel Pineiro and Dave Bush immediately available for two spots. Pineiro and Bush have pitched this Spring but haven’t yet started. They figure to get starts as camp wears on. So far, the Phillies have given all 13 starts to the projected starting rotation, with one from Kendrick.)

It wouldn’t accomplish the goal of giving the Angels salary relief, but it would subtract a redundancy of theirs for a need. The Angels’ projected fifth starter is 29-year-old journeyman Jerome Williams.

Williams has been hurt for a few weeks and in his place, 24-year-old Garrett Richards has been given the opportunity to make the team. Richards pitched well in Double-A last season but has never pitched at Triple-A, and even if he makes  the team and has early success, the Halos would be one starting pitching injury away from having to turn to a replacement-level starter.

The Phils could trade Blanton and his $8.5MM pricetag for Callaspo at $3.15 million. The Angels would pick up their fifth starter and trade away a player they don’t need. The Phillies would get injury insurance in a super-sub that has played every day for three straight seasons, and save $5.35 million if the Angels pay Blanton’s full salary. It isn’t unreasonable to think an Angels team that spent more than $300 million this off-season but isn’t convinced it can win its own division in 2012 would pay an extra $5 million to give 180 innings to Blanton rather than to Williams or Richards.

Win-win-win.

At least I see it that way. How about you? Who says no first, and why?

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Never even heard of this guy. If they knew Utley was having problems why did they give Valdez away for a bag of skittles and a kiss on the cheek. Not over valuing Valdez or saying in any shape or form he will replace a player of Utley’s caliber. However, he was a adequate replacement. None of this makes sense to me.

     
  • Posts: 24 TradeDomBrown

    Avatar of TradeDomBrown

    The Angels would never take on 5.35 million in payroll for a number 5 coming of a season plagued by injuries. Sure it would be nice to see happen for obvious reasons (salary relief and to keep MM off the roster) but I don’t ever see that scenario playing out.

     
  • Posts: 0 DCmikey

    Why is Jimmy saying Howard is done for the season???? Who cares about this useless story- when someone should be addressing the Howard situation. I’m sure someone had to hear it….JRoll tweeted it yesterday

     
    • Posts: 0 Stuart

      I think you might be following the wrong Jimmy Rollins. Because I am following the real one and he never said a word and second off, the real one would NEVER release that kind of information.

       
  • Posts: 0 StartBrownInLeft

    Before we get too far down the Valdez Love/MM Hate path, projections for this year are very similar for both, with an OPS between .600 and .640. That’s surprising but is due to a couple of things: MM had an extremely low .220 BABIP last year, meaning that as bad as he was, he may have also been somewhat unlucky, and also MM is only 29 while Valdez is expected to start declining.

    If Utley can’t play that’s a real issue, but Valdez was not the answer any more than MM is.

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Valdez > MiniMart. Anything else you’d like to say??

       
      • Posts: 0 StartBrownInLeft

        Yes:

        Valdez minus MiniMart = too small to matter

         
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Maybe they should have thought about this before they traded Valdez. Seriously, three infielders with either injuires or injury histories…Polanco, Rollins, Utley….and they trade away a guy with a slick glove and rocket arm. I didn’t get it then and I so don’t get it now.

    Mandy Housenick of the Allentown Morning Call was on WIP this morning and basically said that without Howard for the whole year or most of it that she can’t envision the Phillies winning the division. And if Utley is not healthy it only compounds the problem. Scary thought…

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I’d like to see the analysis behind Mandy’s prediction :-).

       
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Analysis? Mandy don’t need no stinkin’ analysis.

         
  • Posts: 0 George

    There are two sides to a trade, and I can’t imagine one of the sides here wanting an overpaid fifth starter.

    Will the Valdez/Martinez thing ever end? Maybe Martinez isn’t good, but Valdez wasn’t twice as good, even though he was being paid twice as much. If the Phils need an infield bat, neither of those guys would qualify.

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Valdez is waaayy better than MiniMart and I’m pretty sure that 99.9999% of the fans know it. Is he twice as good? No, probably not. But Valdez is a qualified major leaguer. MiniMart is barely a qualified AAA player.

      Now if they were to be able to get this Callaspo guy then maybe that’s a bonafide solution. But, you’re right….I think this trade has something like ZERO chance of happening.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bertram

    Quick, sign Blanton to an absurd extension; then the Angels would probably trade him straight up for Mike Trout.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Is there some sort of information that both teams might be willing to do this? I mean….where does this stuff come from? The Angels would never do that trade. Ever. If they wanna get rid of a “redundancy” on their team, they could trade the Callaspo guy for a prospect, which is a better return than Blanton plus 5m extra to pay.

    Tip on trade speculation: When evaluating a prospective trade, the trade should make sense for both teams, not just one team.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    last night it was posted on MLBTR that the Blue Jays basically are out of the running for Blanton (could be just a PR move to strenthen their hand if the Phillies and White Sox are desperate to trade pitching) .. .

    “the Blue Jays will not add a starting pitcher owed significant money right now. A cheap, innings-eating stopgap is more likely. Toronto has been connected to Joe Blanton and Gavin Floyd recently. ”

    ………..

    Blanton is a career 4.32 ERA , 1.35 WHIP.. and over his career average 209 Innings Pitched (over a 162 game average) … when you are a team like the Angels and just backed-up the money truck to land Pujols, CJ Wilson, to extend Jered Weaver, etc . . . the insurance of having a playoff-tested pitcher instead of a rookie is a nice thing to have. (for the Phillies or the Angels) .. I think Corey’s point is that the Angels would seemingly be better served with an extra arm isntead of an extra infielder …. the Phillies would be better served with an extra infielder ….

    personally, I think the Phillies would still have to eat $2 M to make the Angels want to do this deal …….at which point, you ask is that worth it for a “backup” player … though that player might play a huge role since Utley, Polanco aren’t healthy .. but Blanton would be nice if one of our big 3 went down

     
  • Posts: 0 Corey Seidman

    So the Angels, who just committed more than $300 million in payroll this off-season, wouldn’t commit $5 million to a fifth starter whose contract is up after the season to replace a 4-A 29-year-old Jerome Williams?

    Really? After they’ve already tried to land Blanton this off-season?

    You guys are a trip. Though I guess rather than admitting something’s a good idea it’s always easier to hate on it without using pretty much any evidence.

    I especially like the Blanton-Trout comment. Just follows logically with everything written in the article.

    Oh well. I’ll take solace in the fact that it makes sense for both teams, and that the people who didn’t comment likely saw that enough not just to be cranky for the sake of being cranky.

    Keep living the Internet dream, y’all.

    Thanks for the advice, Dipsy. Maybe it’ll let me advance my stagnating career. I really need to learn how this whole baseball thing works.

     
  • Posts: 0 Corey Seidman

    As Phillies fans, you see in Blanton a middling 5th starter coming off an injury plagued season.

    Tell me what you think Angels fans see, in relation to Jerome Williams.

    Tell me if you think the Angels are sitting there thinking “Ya know what, we don’t need to shore up our rotation or protect it in case of injury. Screw pitching depth. We have three third-basemen for two spots. That’s the ticket to winning a divisional dog fight after we just created unreasonably high expectations by bringing in Pujols and CJ Wilson.

    Come on people! I expected to see the other side, but I also thought a few of you would catch on to this…

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      I agree. It makes sense for them to do it. Maybe even MORE sense than it makes for us –even knowing that, I’d pull the trigger.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Hate to point this out, but he’d be a fifth starter with the Angels, too. And therefore, he’s still be overpaid.

       
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Joe Blanton for Callaspo, straight up? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

     
  • Posts: 0 Corey Seidman

    *One spot. Sorry, typing on phone in car

     
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Yo, that’s illegal now!!!

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Well, following your logic Corey, the Phillies have spent X amount of money signing all these great guys so they should have no problem adding 5m more in payroll to improve THEIR team. This being the “What The Hell We’ve Spent This Much, A Little More Can’t Hurt” school of thought. Well, the Phillies don’t wanna do that because they feel they’ve actually maxed out. Oh the shortsightedness!

    Have the Angels said they would take on more payroll for a decent starter? Is Blanton a decent starter?

    Don’t get angry, Corey. Can you say that you are innocent of berating posters who posit ideas for trades on this site that have absolutely NO factual basis that hey might happen? I mean this thing is just a “Hey, I got a great idea for a trade…..” article. Nothing wrong with it. I would even tell you that I would LOVE to see the Phillies do it. But the Angels have no reason to.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      1) The Angels reportedly tried to land Blanton once this off-season.

      2) The Phillies are in a much different position than the Angels. They’ve spent nearly $30 million more and have much greater playoff and divisional odds.

      3) Nowhere did anyone write that a trade is imminent. The idea was brought up because in the past 7 days we’ve learned that Blanton is available and the Phillies are looking for infield help.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Was the Anels’ effort to trade for Blanton before or after they signed Wilson? And how serious was that effort? The entire 3 way deal with the Yanks, from what I read, didn’t gop through because the Angels balked.

        And can you truthfully say the Phils and Angels are in different positions? Have you read the Angels’ books as far as expected revenue, or is this just a guess? Maybe they can’t put rearends in the seats like the Phils do, and maybe they don’t sell as mqany jerseys, or maybe their management doesn’t like to spend all that much money.

        Yeah, we’re a trip. Even if you’re the one who is assuming that this deal “makes sense for both teams,” and have the gall to belittle fans who have only been pointing out that maybe it doesn’t.

         
      • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

        Avatar of Corey Seidman

        George –

        1) It came waaaaaaaaaay after the Angels signed C.J. Wilson. Two-plus months after.

        2) The Phillies and Angels are in different positions… I can truthfully say that. The Phillies are spending $30 million more, have led baseball in wins in each of the past two seasons and don’t have another team in their division as good as the Rangers.

        Financially, the Angels have been willing to spend for years but were spurned by many a free agent, including Mark Teixeira, Carl Crawford and A-Rod. So yeah… they’re not masquerading around as a small-market team.

        3) It’s not an assumption. Team A has a need it tried to fill with Joe Blanton a month ago. Team B has a need that came out in the past week. Team A has a solution to Team B’s need. Team B has a solution to Team A’s need.

        I comment on maybe 5% of the arguments that start on here, so trust me, I’ve eaten far more words than I’ve written in the comments section. But the first few comments on this article bothered me because it was like nobody even read the article, people just formed an opinion that “this can’t happen because this is the first time I’m reading about this proposed trade!”

        So I responded. Maybe I shouldn’t respond?

         
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Corey… I, for one, am not cranky. And I see your argument here. Callaspo’s a nice player if the Phillies could get him. I looked at his numbers on baseballreference (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/callaal01.shtml) and they’re not bad at all.

    I just don’t see the Angels making that move for Blanton….UNLESS, like Don says, that the Phillies eat at least 2M to make it happen. And then, is it really worth it?? For the Phillies?

     
  • Posts: 0 Brett

    Angels would never do this. Let’s all take into account that this is the website that said Lastings Milliage would be a good fit here….

     
  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    I guess I’ll leave it at this, for now:

    -The Angels are spending $146 million, an amount that you don’t spend just to be competitive… you spend to win. If they have to boost that to $150 million to create a better chance at winning the AL West over the also-loaded Rangers, that is the priority. You don’t spend $146MM to win 85 games and potentially suffer a debilitating SP injury that leaves you unprotected.

    What happens if Ervin Santana gets hurt? The Angels are four-deep, pitching-wise, as it is.

    -The Angels have three third basemen and one spot to fill.

    -Obtaining a super-sub who can play second and third would fill two giant needs for the Phils.

    -The Phils have the depth — not tremendous depth — but the depth necessary to trade Blanton.

    -Callaspo is nearing the end of his team-controlled days and this is the last season he’ll be cheap compared to his level of production.

    -Even if the Angels DON’T take on $5 million of that deal… if they take on $4 million, it’s still a win for the Phillies, who clear payroll and fill a INF need for a SP luxury.

    -Blanton has looked healthy and effective this Spring. The Angels once tried to trade for him this off-season, according to reports.

    So just asking… which points are you taking issue with? Nowhere did I write this trade is imminent, I just wanted to see who says no first. And you all said no without providing any legitimate reason or response to the article.

    And then Dipsy made a Dipsy comment. Gotta love Dipsy. He makes the Phillies Nation world go ’round.

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Makes a lot of sense to me.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      I guess a lot of people have a different idea of what constitutes a “legitimate reason or response.”

      It appears that you don’t think any argument which goes against your thought processes is legitimate. And you’ve also misread the comments. Not many have actually said “no” to the trade; it’s just that most of us don’t see it as happening, and have given numerous reasons why it probably won’t.

       
      • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

        Avatar of Corey Seidman

        I understand why you think that is the approach I’m taking, that everyone saying otherwise is “wrong,” or whatever.

        But trust me when I say this, I love baseball discussion more than anybody you’ve ever met. When someone brings up an actual legitimate argument that isn’t a STRAWMAN like Dipsy’s “There are plenty of teams willing to trade good pitchers” … that’s when a comments section is great. Check out Brotherly Glove if you don’t believe me. Our readers don’t always agree with everything we write but the discussion is amazing and always brings up new points.

        When someone vehemently disagrees or shoots down an idea with incorrect facts, why should I ignore it? Why should I let that person’s conviction allow someone else to come on here, see that comment and think “Yeah, this author really doesn’t know what he’s talking about?”

        That’s the only reason I respond to most comments. So that it doesn’t turn into “Whoever has the last word in the most forceful way wins.” I prefer the whole facts, evidence, logic thing.

        Sorry if any of this came across as condescending, just the way I feel about writing on the internet.

         
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Corey, I’ll go you one further. IF the Angels need a fifth starter AND they are willing to spend 5m on a fifth starter WHY NOT jump up a few more mill a trade for a pitcher who is better than Blanton and is no injury risk. They are tons of teams looking to off load good pitchers if the trading team will take their salary. Why wouldn’t they try and do better than Blanton?

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      Name 3 teams and the specific “good” pitchers they are trying to off-load.

      Make sure those teams and pitchers aren’t looking for top-tier prospects to unload their “good” pitchers, because that’s a completely different conversation that we have no reason to believe the Angels are interested in.

      Can’t mention Gavin Floyd, because in addition to costing the same as Blanton in dollars, Floyd would command much more than Callaspo in a trade.

      This is redundancy for redundancy. Not solid prospect for starting pitcher. THAT, we have little reason to believe the Angels would do.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      ” They are tons of teams looking to off load good pitchers if the trading team will take their salary.”

      Not sure this is the case, at least for pitchers better than Blanton. It may be, I haven’t researched it, just saying it doesn’t strike me as obviously true.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Good point, Dipsy.

      And if they can’t get a better guy in a trade, they could probably deal with their current options for a month or two, then invest that $5 million in Roy Oswalt.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        One available starter would be John Lannan. He’s not better than Blanton, but he is comparable and he’s had no health issues yet.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        In what bizarro world is Lannan even close to Blanton, much less better than him? Lannan has a career 4.71 K/9 and a career 3.38 BB/9 whereas Blanton is 5.88 and 2.49 respectively in those two categories. A more equitable comparison for Lannan is Kyle Kendrick, not Joe Blanton.

        The thing that I don’t get is why people in this town are so quick to downplay Blanton and what he brings to the table if he’s healthy.

         
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    For the record, I didn’t say “no” (Corey, you said that we “all said no”) … What I said was that if they could get Callaspo then maybe it was a bonafide solution. I looked at his stats and they’re pretty good for the role he would fill. I just don’t see the Angels making the deal, that’s all. Maybe I/we are all wrong..

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    And, actually, I’m not sure the Phillies would do the deal if they would have to eat much more than the 2M that’s been thrown out there. Blanton provides us just as much depth as he does the Angels.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Well, with the 12 qualifiers you put on it I’m gonna have to start looking at rosters now. Johan Santana would be one.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Jake Peavy, Ted Lilly, A.J. Burnett……

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Yes, don’t get angry Corey. There’s only about 10 guys that post on here regularly. The opinions of 10 people aren’t worth getting upset over, nor do they necessarily reflect the majority opinion.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Corey , as always, i like the outside-the-box thinking here ….. and I think they somewhere in between Straight-Up trade … and the Phillies kicking in $2 M …. lies the middle ground for a way this trade could actually happen.

    like you said, if we save $4 M, it’s still a great deal, provided that Kendrick or others are serviceable #5′s …..

    We can either trade Blanton now, or at the deadline – but the likelihood that Blanton will be here at the end of the season is SLIM …(see what I did there). to get a guy that can help play while we’re shorthanded in the infield would be great …. and looking at the stats, he could be a better fit that Wilson Betemit or Ryan Theriot – guys that many wanted the Phillies to bring in this offseason

     
  • Posts: 0 Corey Seidman

    AJ Burnett is injured and was just traded to the Pirates.

    Johan Santana is due an exorbitant amount of money.

    Peavy would cost more than Blanton, and costs more money.

    Lilly’s interesting. But again would command more in a trade.

    I threw out the qualifiers cuz I’d rather have a conversation using specifics than just an idea of teams trying to unload good pitchers.

    Ya mean?

    And point taken, Chuck A. I think we all have a tendency to gloss over those who agree and recognize those who come with heavy opposition.

     
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    In 2009 Callaspo played 2B, and for the past two years he’s been primarily at third.

    Using batting and fielding runs vs. average as Corey did, below are the combined batting and fielding runs for four third-basemen from fangraphs for 2010-2011. All four had between 1,117 and 1,137 plate appearances:

    player, batting runs, fielding runs, total

    Polanco : -4.9, +27.5 (total = 22.6)
    Wright: … 36.4, -21.1 (total = 15.3)
    ARam: … 23.3, -15.9 (total = 7.4)
    Callaspo: -5.5, +11.7 (total = 6.2)

    Callaspo looks good, and will turn 29 next month.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Oh, that Burnett trade went through? Great. How much did the Yankees eat? I just named you good pitchers that teams will off load if the other team is willing to take salary. Thats the whole point. If I were the Angels I would rather have Ted Lilly than Joe Blanton.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      Yes, but those are all pitchers that A) Cost more than Joe Blanton, and B) command a better trade return than Blanton.

      How does the idea of the Angels trading a redundancy for a need = the Angels should trade prospects and take on double the salary of Blanton for a better 5th starter?

      That is a completely different argument and a completely different line of thinking. Blanton-for-Callaspo is a straight-up need-for-need trade. Trading for Johan Santana or Jake Peavy two weeks before the season starts is a major upheaval.

      Maybe you can change the argument again so you can be right for 15 more minutes.

       
  • Posts: 5222 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    This all makes sense to me. I’d like to see them do it even if it only saved the team 2-3m.

    BTW- I’m never cranky just to be cranky, I’m just at the age where I get pleasure being cranky sometimes.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I’ve always been that age. Still, sometimes I get cranky because other people make me so. It’s at those times when I have to kick inanimate objects rather than calling those people the names they so richly deserve, or telling them to do things involving amateur proctology.

       
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Ted Lilly is due $25.5 M over the next two seasons …… and as of the other day, was being mentioned as the Dodgers #2 pitcher, behind Kershaw ..

    I think what people are failing to see is that this isn’t just a case of the Angels wanting to add a pitcher …. there is also the fact that they have “extra” players with no spots to play them all .. their extra guys seem to include Bobby Abreu and apparently, Alberto Callaspo

    If the Angels were to trade one of them, it would likely be for pitching …. Alberto Callaspo probably wouldn’t bring them back Ted Lilly or Gavin Floyd …but it might get them Joe Blanton (or John Lannan). . . if you have a surplus of something, you can trade that for a need.

    the market for Abreu doesn’t make him a fit in many places, he’s seemingly a DH/ occasional OF …which should limit him to AL teams (or maybe a desperate NL team at the trade deadline). The market for Callaspo – who the Angels might not need – matches perfectly with the Phillies who would be willing to move Blanton for a piece that would help us in return . . .

    I think pitching is much more desireable than UTIL – but for the cost of a few million, the Phillies might be able to unload Blanton for a guy that can help this year, and potentially be a long-term solution to 3b after Polanco …

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      These are valid points, except…

      The Angels also have infielders Trumbo, Izturas, and Morales( albeit, two play mostly first base) that could be traded instead of Callaspo.

      Callaspo isn’t exactly cheap at $3.15 million, and so may not be a good fit for a team approaching the L.T. threshold.

      A utility player is probably not a long term solution at third base.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I don’t know much about him, but looking at his stats, he is very similar to Polanco, except 7 years younger. Decent average, doesn’t walk or strike out, little power, very good defense (though not as stellar like Polanco).

        Last two years:
        Polanco .288/.337/.365, +27.5 fielding runs, 6.8 fWAR, 6.6 BB%, 8.1 K%
        Callaspo .276/.332/.374, +11.7 fielding runs, 5.0 fWAR, 7.8 BB%, 7.9 K%

        If you don’t like Polanco as your 3rd baseman, you’re not going to like Callaspo, either.

         
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    If this is a possibility I’d be in favor of it. Shipping Blanton off to fill a need sounds good to me.

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    George…Callaspo’s had three seasons (last year being one of them) where he’s had over 500 ABs. He’s a lifetime .281 hitter. He was projected to be the Angels regular 3B before they signed Albert and had to figure out what to do with Mark Trumbo. I think he’s more than a utility guy and COULD (repeat COULD) be a solution at third.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I must admit that I didn’t know Callaspo had that many at bats, or that the Angels considered making him their regular third base guy. However, they must not have thought that the best option because they did, indeed, sign Pujols and move Trumbo to 3rd. If they really wanted to make Callaspo the third sacker, then maybe this discussion would be about trading Blanton for Trumbo.

      Callaspo might be fine as a regular, but it would be a little bit of a risk I’m not sure Amaro would take. .281 is decent, but not spectacular, particularly with no power to go with it.

       
  • Posts: 0 delearyous

    i like callaspo a lot. i think this is exactly the guys should bring in. in fact i mentioned it the other day when discussing with a friend what the phillies should do at 3rd.

    people who are suggesting let Victorino walk and bring in david wright are ridiculous. we haven’t had a 3rd baseman who hits for power in ages. the arguments that x position should be this kind of player is something of the past.

    as for this exact proposal, i don’t see why we don’t throw in a prospect with blanton since they’re taking the money. no way the deal goes through one-for-one, but i could see packaging in one of the many young relievers the phillies have

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      A young reliever probably wouldn’t help very much when the pay difference is over five million dollars. Also, the Angels would have to have a need for one of those. It is an area, though, where the Phils appear to have a surplus, at least at present.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I think this got too focused on the specifics. We don’t need an infielder we need POWER. With Utley’s power gone for good and with Howard out min 2 months the only legit power we have is Mayberry. Thome can only PH.

    Anything that does address this is rearranging the deck chairs. Move Polanco to 2b and find power at 3b. Doubt they can afford it.

    Not interested in another singles hitter.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      The Phils already have a selection of infielders with no power, but none of them really qualify as singles hitters, either. Even the beloved (by many posters) Wilson Valdez barely got on base.

      I do agree, though, that a change should involve power, too, because the Phils basically have none if both Utley and Howard miss much time.

      Amaro will have to get way more creative than just Blanton for Callaspo. That’s not enough of an improvement; it’s only a salary dump.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Bob and George, you’re both saying they need more offense, right? I assume you don’t really are how they get that offense.

        Also, I assume this is oy a critical need if Utley really misses substantial time.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        *…don’t really care how they get that offense.

        Taking it a step further, improving the offense but giving up more runs on defense doesn’t help the team much (see Wright, ARam).

        I just think that hoping for more power is a lot more specific than it needs to be.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Schmenkman, no one said that giving up more runs would be an option. (It also might not be the case with the right player.) The point is that when you have a slew of infielders, like Martinez, Orr, Frandsen, Wigginton, Galvis, etc. there is absolutely no point in adding another poor offensive option to the mix. A couple of extra singles out of a guy like Callaspo isn’t going to mean much.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        George, I think Callaspo would be a nice upgrade over those other guys.

        But the point is just that getting more power would be great, but you have to look at how or whether it improves the team overall (stating the obvious).

         
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    I guess I don’t see why the Angels would go for such a deal. Callaspo is a 2b/3b/ss guy, whereas the real surplus that the Angels have is the 1B/DH position. I’m not sure trading away their swing-man infielder does anything to address the 1B/DH issue, so it’s not all that much of a redundancy.

    Additionally, I’m not so sure that I’m comfortable going into the season with Kendrick/Bush/Elarton/Pineiro as the guy to take the bump every 5th day. Maybe Kendrick truly has turned a corner, but I’m a huge skeptic. Normally, I wouldn’t care much about the 5th starter, but it seems to me that this team is going to likely struggle for offense at least until the Big Piece comes back (and potentially even then, depending on the health of Utley & Polanco). I’m really bracing myself for a big-time reversion by Mayberry.

    So, with that being the case, I think they need a very good rotation 1-5. 1-3 are obviously taken care of, and Worley should be fine, but I’m not really sold on the idea of dealing Blanton, who could be a very good pitcher from the 5th slot, for a utility infielder who will ideally struggle to find playing time. In the past I’ve said I’d be ok with dumping Blanton’s salary if that meant they could bring in a better pitcher at a similar cost (was specifically talking about Oswalt at the time), but this kind of a return isn’t what I had in mind there.

    In one of the previous comments you asked what the Angels rotation looks like if Santana goes down. Well, that argument could be made for any team, including the Phils. What do they look like if Halladay/Lee/Hamels goes down? I shudder at the thought.

    Personally, I’d prefer giving up less, keeping Blanton, and trying to acquire one of the lesser talents Murphy mentioned like Baker or Andino.

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      Good points, Eric. Only thing I’d argue is that the Angels do have four third basemen in camp: Callaspo, Izturis, Jorge Cantu and the Mark Trumbo Experiment.

      Of course, Callaspo and Izturis can both play 2B/SS (though Callaspo really doesn’t play SS much anymore), but they also have Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick.

      Here’s a quick positional breakdown of what the Angels INF could be, including guys at multiple positions:

      1B – Pujols, Trumbo, Kendrys Morales, Howie Kendrick
      2B – Howie Kendrick, Maicer Izturis, Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Jorge Cantu
      SS – Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis, Alberto Callaspo
      3B – Mark Trumbo Experiment, Alberto Callaspo, Maicer Izturis, Jorge Cantu

      Yeesh

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Some other thoughts on the Angels’ surplus:

        Morales may never be 100% and could wind up on the DL again, and it’s quite possible that one of these guys becomes the DH and Abreu (with his high salary) is traded. Trumbo is still young and, if I’m not mistaken (and I might be; I don’t feel like looking it up) might still have options and could be sent down to learn a new position.

         
      • Posts: 0 Matt

        Except the Angels don’t have four third baseman in camp. Trumbo has never played third base in his life and isn’t expected to play more than 50 games there in a best case scenario. Cantu isn’t on the major league roster – he’s got a minor league contract and probably won’t break camp with the major league team since he’s been terrible the last two seasons. That leaves Callaspo and Izturis. If the Angels trade Callaspo, that leaves them with only their utility infielder to sop up 100-120 games at third.

        And all this even leaves out the fact that Joe Blanton is terrible.

        I’m a lifelong Angels fan (found this discussion through a link on baseball-reference) and I’m going to tell you that your proposal is absurdly one sided. Are you seriously suggesting that the Angels would consider trading a solid young position player who had a 4 WAR season last year in return for a pitcher who hasn’t managed a positive WAR in two straight seasons and who hasn’t managed even a 1 WAR in 4 of the last 5? And you’re suggesting that they’re willing to take on $5M for the privilege of getting the worse player?

        The Angels were willing to trade Abreu because doesn’t have much value anymore and isn’t needed on a team with too many DH options. The team would also have shed payroll in the deal, which is the exact opposite of what you’re proposing. You can’t say, well, the Angels were willing to trade Abreu for Blanton, so they should be willing to trade Callaspo for Blanton because they’re too completely different situations.

         
      • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

        Avatar of Corey Seidman

        Matt – 1) Blanton was worth 1.8 WAR in his last full season, right on the brink of league-average, which is extremely valuable from a 4th or 5th starter. Not sure where you’re getting the “hasn’t had a positive WAR in two seasons.”

        A healthy Blanton is a league-average starter. 56 starting pitchers last season with at least 100 IP were below league-average. Again, Jerome Williams.

        2) You say “that leaves 100-120 games for Maicer Izturis” as if he’s Hector Luna. Izturis played 122 games last season and has amassed 370 plate appearances four times in his career. To call this absurdly one-sided is absurdly one-sided.

        3

         
      • Posts: 0 Matt

        Corey – thanks for the response. I was using B-R’s WAR formula which shows Blanton as -.6 WAR in 2010, a 2.7 in 2009 and .7 in 2008.

        With respect to Izturis, he’s not Hector Luna but there’s a reason he’s been a utility player for the Angels and not a starter and the reason isn’t performance. He can’t be relied upon to stay healthy. Last year was the first year he’s played 120 games in his career, and even then 9 or 10 of those were as late inning substitutions. He only started 110 or so.

        By trading Callaspo, you’re leaving third base in the hands of a guy whose never played it before, a guy who can’t stay healthy and a guy who was terrible the last two seasons that he had to get a non-roster invite to spring training.

        Again, this trade boils down to “the Angels should give up the younger, better player AND take on salary for the privilege of doing it.” That leaves out the fact that it ALSO leaves a giant, gaping question mark hovering over third base – creating uncertainty at a position that’s a lot harder to fill competently than fifth starter.

        IF June roles around and Trumbo is a revelation at third (meaning he can play it without being a complete defensive liability) AND the Phillies kick in money, then I could see this trade making sense. But trading now, under the terms proposed, it’s one sided in terms of the Phillies.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      Yes, that’s a lot of infield options.

      However, the Phils have more than one guy at all their infield positions, too. Maybe Callaspo is better than any of the Phils’ guys, but I’d also question whether he’s better than a proven starter. In other words, like EricL, I have very little faith in the abilities of those minor league signings. Kendrick might work, but there is also the possibility that Worley won’t perform like he did last year. The rotation is the Phil’s strength, and Blanton is part of that strength. With the missing power of Howard and the aging bats of so many others, the Phils need every bit of pitching they can get.

       
  • [...] Phillies Nation, meanwhile, muses &#1072b&#959&#965t a deal sending Blanton t&#959 th&#1077 Angels. [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan

    As a Halos fan, I can tell you that Mike Scioscia really values lineup flexibility, and really likes Alberto Callaspo. I think the more likely trade candidate is Maicer Izturis, an impending free agent who is unhappy with (what he believes will be) a reduced role. Honestly, I think you’d be just as happy with Izturis.

    On the other side of this… I don’t see the Angels taking on salary to add a player of Blanton’s caliber (and recent injury issues). Do I think they need a proven 5th starter? Absolutely. I’m just not sure a health risk like Blanton is the answer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Richard

    Lets start Grooming Domic Brown to play First Base and get rid of Ryan Howard

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Yes, Ryan Howar and his $125 million contract can easily be dumped, especially when Brown proves he’s the fastest first baseman who can’t catch a throw.

       
  • Posts: 0 Michael

    Proven pitcher for a prospect with basically no ML experience. No thanks. Not saying that he’s going to be a bust but I don’t have a ton of faith in anyone behind Kendrick. Bush and Pineiro have done little even in ST, to make me feel comfortable there.

    I’m sticking with Freddy G and Utley in a wheelchair.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Callaspo isn’t exactly a “prospect with basically no ML experience.” I guess you read the article and have no knowledge of the American League.

       
  • Posts: 0 Jeremy

    Seriously? You’re wondering why people are criticizing you for this? I was with you until you claimed that having the Angels pay all of Blanton’s salary was realistic. If the Angels wanted to blow $8M on an aging starter coming off an injury, they’d spend it on Roy Oswalt. Teams don’t just say, “We spent $146M already, why not an extra 5 or 8?” If that’s the argument, it would work more in the Phillies’ favor than ours.

    Here’s your factual evidence:

    Alberto Callaspo had the fifth highest WAR in baseball among third basemen with 4.5. As he will be turning 29 this season, he is still entering his offensive prime, and he is only paid $3M this season with one more arbitration year, which means he’ll be under club control the next 2 years for cheap.

    Joe Blanton is not only coming off an injury, but he was on a noticeable decline even before he got injured. His highest single season WAR was in 2007, with 4.1. He hasn’t thrown 200 innings since that season, and he hasn’t thrown 180+ since 2009. 8.9 of his career 11.6 WAR came when he was in his prime pitching in arguably the most pitcher friendly park in baseball. In the four seasons since he left Oakland, he’s only been worth 2.6 WAR, which means he’s not even averaged a single WAR per season over the course of the last 4 years. On top of all that, he will be getting paid $8M next season.

    As an Angels fan, trade proposals like this make me want to vomit. Because I know our organization better than other teams’ fans, I have more confidence in Williams, Richards, even Bell than Blanton. Williams and Bell are significantly under-rated, and they are both cheap options.

    Playoff experience means nothing in this situation. We have three aces with a possible fourth, which means whoever our fifth starter is won’t be pitching in the playoffs.

    There is a possibility we trade Callaspo, because he is somewhat “redundant” as you would say. It all hinges on how many games we can get out of Trumbo and Izturis. However, if/when we trade him, we will get value out of him. We won’t be taking other teams’ trash.

    Here’s your trade proposal: Trade an aging veteran who is severely overpaid and has little to no value at this point in his career straight up for an emerging young third basemen who is one of the better players at his position and under club control for the next two years for very little cost.

    You tell me, does that make sense to you?

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      Mixed in the “look-at-me, I’m-making-points” vitriol are a few decent counter-arguments, Jeremy.

      The first two counter-arguments I contest:

      -The WAR comparison doesn’t hold much weight in this discussion because we’re not looking at Blanton vs. Callaspo in a vacuum, we’re looking at one guy playing X amount of games (75 at 3B? 100? 115?) vs. starting pitcher who averaged 32 starts per season during his career until getting hurt in 2011.

      -Six hours after this article went up, there was a report that the Phillies were willing to pay up to $2 million of Blanton’s salary. This article already created discussion and I didn’t want to change the conclusion based on that update because it would have negated the conversations being had.

      Curious, how different do you feel about Blanton at $6 million, only $2.85MM more than Callaspo.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Corey, I know you’re trying to be nice to a commenter from another team’s fanbase, but to me, Jeremy is pretty much prejudiced in favor of his own team, and has come on here to post “look-at-me, I’m-making-points” vitriol, for instance: saying your trade proposal makes him “want to vomit.” He seems to think the Angel’s 5th starter candidates are all underrated whereas most baseball men don’t think so highly of them, and he places an awfully high value on a .280 hitter whose pay through arbitration will go up close to what Polanco (a .300 hitter, twenty higher than Callaspo) made his first year with the Phils. He also flat-out states that Blanton is “trash.” It’s true that Joe is no ace, but even in his worst full season, it was only the first half when he truly stunk.

      Maybe you won’t do it because you’re trying to maintain Phillies Nation decorum, but I’m just a commenter, so I have no qualms about calling this guy a dick.

       
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  • Posts: 0 Scott Allen

    This is honestly HILARIOUS. It simply wreaks of a baseball fan that has no clue as to the positional strength or needs of a team other than his own. This would have to be a move that made sense for both teams. Joe Blanton and his ridiculous price tag would literally fall behind Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, Brad Mills and Trevor Bell in the race for the 5th starter spot in Los Angeles. On top of which Callaspo is an extraordinarily valuable commodity. A solid defensive infielder that hits for average and gets on base that’s in his physical prime and costs very little.

    The Angels simply do not have a NEED to trade Callaspo whereas the Phillies have a NEED for an infielder. In other words, the Angels have all the leverage. If the Phillies really want Callaspo, this would be a conversation that started and ended with either Antonio Bastardo or Phillippe Aumont. Both of which the Phillies would not part with.

    Plainly put, the Phillies can’t afford to part ways with the pieces it would take to land Alberto Callaspo and the Angels would not be motivated to trade him in the least by the Phillies dangling an overpaid starter who hasn’t top 200 innings or posted an ERA lower than 4 since 2007.

     
 
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